Radiofrequency ablation of synchronous bilateral renal cell carcinoma

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The treatment of synchronous bilateral renal cell carcinoma is challenging. Radiofrequency ablation has been increasingly applied in the management of renal tumors. Herein, we report our experience of radiofrequency ablation on 12 patients with synchronous bilateral renal cell carcinoma.


From March 2006 to September 2010, 12 patients with bilateral synchronous sporadic renal cell carcinoma (29 lesions overall) were identified from our kidney database. The mean age was 62.3 years (range 35–81). The mean tumor diameter was 4.5 cm (range 0.9–9.0). Three patients received unilateral radiofrequency ablation and contralateral radical nephrectomy, whereas nine patients received bilateral radiofrequency ablation. The oncological and functional outcomes were analyzed. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography examinations were carried out at day 7, and at 3 and 6 months after the procedure, and every 6 months thereafter.


The mean follow-up period was 33 months (range 10–64). The local tumor control rate was 93.1% (27/29). Cancer-specific survival and the overall survival rates were 100%. No death or renal failure after the procedure was found. In patients who underwent bilateral radiofrequency ablation, the latest mean glomerular filtration rate had not significantly declined compared with preoperative levels (93.7 ± 13.0 mL/min/1.73 m2vs 96.9 ± 13.3 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively; P > 0.05).


Radiofrequency ablation shows encouraging outcomes in the treatment of bilateral renal cell carcinoma. It can provide adequate local tumor control and cancer-specific survival compared with nephron-sparing surgery while not affecting the renal function.

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